Australia’s Western Sydney University (WSU), in collaboration with ProQuest, announced on February 12 that it will begin providing first-year students with no-cost access to digital textbooks through WSU’s library.
Oregon State University (OSU) is helping faculty produce their own open access textbooks for courses. The university press, an arm of the OSU libraries, is starting work on a series of open source e-textbooks that officials hope will ease the rising textbook costs that are a consistent cause of student complaints. To make the etextbook program work, the library and press are partnering with OSU’s Ecampus program, which administers distance and online learning programs for the college.
Librarians rejoice! The Supreme Court of the United States insisted in its Wiley v. Kirtsaeng decision that we can legally lend foreign-manufactured materials!
The case was about textbooks and textbook-market arbitrage, though. That’s worth keeping sight of. Extrapolating from reactions on all sides, what does the Wiley v. Kirtsaeng decision likely mean for the textbook-publishing business, and what can textbook publishers and libraries do if they don’t like that?
Among the many gadgets and gewgaws announced this week at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas was a debut that may be a boon to students getting more comfortable with digital textbooks. A new etextbook dashboard tool, which will be an included feature in all etextbooks distributed by Kno Inc., will allow students to keep study analytics information private, or to opt-in to share their study results with peers and classmates.